Google Earth image with tracks from June 12, 2008 fishing trip.
The tides were pretty slack all week so the inshore fishing was pretty dead. Surprisingly, my dad was up early and waiting for us in the kitchen. We had dragged him along to Shellbank Reef a few days earlier and had a dissapointing trip. I thought his fishing for the trip was over, but here he was ready to go again. He asked, “What’s the plan?” I said “we’re going to put the shore to our stern and hit the gas. ” There’s always fish to catch when you go offshore a little ways. I was kinda bummed about the fishing so far. It had been a pretty slow week. I was ready for something different.
We lauched the boat while Iwas talking to the office on my cell phone. We got 1/2 mile past the pier before we realized we should go back and catch some shrimp. So we turned around and netted some.
Whoops. Shouldn't we get some bait?
Once we got to the outside we chased some schooling fish. We caught a bunch of Hardtails and Ladyfish. Dad caught one Spanish Mackerel. The Hardtails were perfect size for King Mackerel bait, so I kept a few. We made our way to a rig and dropped a chum bag. Fish were everywhere. Mostly Hardtails chasing bait, and a few Kings were puting on a show. We spent some time casting lures, but didn’t catch much. The Hardtails here were a little big for King bait. I dropped down a double rig with some live shrimp on a rod with Power Pro line. A minute later a fish was on. A second later, it was off. Everything was off. The line was cut above the entire rig. We knew there had to be King, or Spanish Mackerel down there. We lost many fish before we switched to wire leaders. The funny thing was that we kept losing fish after we added wire leaders. The fish were going so absolutlely nuts down there, that they were biting the sinkers above the leaders when another fish was hooked, thus cutting the monofilament. We finaly figured this out so we started putting a big split shot sinker on the wire itself. No more fish were lost. We weren’t keeping track, but I bet we lost 15 good fish from all the cut-offs.
But we managed to land a few…
Daddy with one his Kings. He was the top fish producer on the boat.
Carl's biggest King took a while to land. It nearly spooled the reel several times.
This fish swam around the anchor line a few times. He knew what he was doing.
We even caught a few nice trash fish.
Looks like sushi, but it's not. These False Albacore put up a heck of a fight.
All of the fish were caught on live shrimp. I had one Hardtail rigged up on a King rig for a couple of hours. It never got a bite. The shrimp were freelined behind the boat in the chum slick with about 1/4 oz of weight. They didn’t seem leader shy at all. We mostly used #6 or #4 treble hooks. The frozen chum we used was mostly Menhaden oil, sardines, canned Mackerel, oats, bread and sand. There were some canned shrimp in there too.
It was not the most traditional way to catch King Mackerel, but with a little frozen chum and some live shrimp you can easily fill up the cooler in June in the Gulf of Mexico.